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Two further Covid-related deaths in NI as Health Minister says this ‘should be our last lockdown’

There were two further Covid-related deaths reported by the Department of Health in Northern Ireland today (Friday).

Today’s stats – according to the official dashboard – take in the last 24 hours with both passing away inside that period.

The overall total number of deaths recorded by the Department now stands at 2,050.

Of those deaths, the ABC Borough accounts for 275; Newry, Mourne and Down District at 160; and Mid-Ulster with 192.

There were a further 241 positive cases reported in the last 24 hours, with 27 in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon – the joint second highest in NI. There was a further 11 in Newry, Mourne and Down and 27 in Mid-Ulster.

A total of 2,174 individuals were tested.

There are 335 – six less than yesterday – people now in hospital as a result of the virus, 36 of whom are in intensive care units.

There are currently 35 ICU beds available in Northern Ireland.

A total of 108 – one less than yesterday – Covid patients are currently in hospitals in the Southern Trust area – with 52 in Craigavon; 16 in Daisy Hill, 35 in Lurgan, five in St Luke’s, Armagh and none in South Tyrone.

Meanwhile, Health Minister Robin Swann told BBC News NI that if people come out of this lockdown with responsibility and caution “it should be our last lockdown”.

He added: “As health minister, I want it to be our last lockdown because I know the damage it brings.

“I know the challenges it brings both to individuals and to business and to my health service and the health workers in it.”

Mr Swann also admitted: “Some of the decisions that were taken, if they had been taken at a different speed; at a different time would have had a different direction and would have saved lives and would have made a difference. I have no doubt about that.”

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